How Can I Derive Demographic Data Related to a Radius or Circle Search?

We get many requests for workflows to achieve various business mapping results. One common request is to derive demographic data from a circle around a point on a demographic map. In other words, here’s an address; draw a 25-mile circle around it and tell me the population of that area. The above describes demographic mapping by ZIP code.

Many customers require demographic data from radius search results in their work. These Census-based population, age, or income categories add value to strategic planning, expansion planning, competitor mapping, and other business analysis. It truly makes Map Business Online a demographic mapping software.

Learn More About Demographic Data Available in MapBusinessOnline

Like a Circle in a Circle or a Wheel Within a Wheel
Of course, the circle radius parameters can vary greatly depending on the particular business using MapBusinessOnline and the nature of the inquiry. Some users are highly zoomed into the map, viewing circles just a few miles across. Others prefer a more comprehensive view and could request a circle radius of 50 miles or more. And yes, Thomas Crown, you can make multiple radius map circles.

Deriving demographic data from a radius search in MapBusinessOnline

Demographic Mapping by ZIP Code
Demographic data requirements can vary as well. Usually, the population is the requested demographic category. However, median income and household data inquiries are common, and there’s a list of many more categories available within our growing US Census data library. Census data is compiled every ten years with occasional updates. We’ve posted the latest update from 2019. We’ll release the 2020 decennial count as it becomes available from the Census Bureau and fits into our busy software release schedule.

Our demographic data is presented in MapBusinessOnline by geographic district, also referred to as map layer. The user can request demographic data by ZIP5 code, ZIP3 code, county, state, Census tract, Metropolitan Statistic Area,  City Limit, and Congressional District.

The application applies your drawn shapes to the underlying district of choice when you derive population by a circle or a polygon, or even a drive time area. You draw your circle or shape and then select the district layer to apply – usually, people choose ZIP codes. That area will approximate the circle or polygon based on the district boundaries. The resultant shape will include any areas of the district layer touched by the drawn object. In this way, any zip code touched by the circle will be included in the demographic results.

In MapBusinessOnline, the user can adjust the search area intersection rules in Map and Data. Click the Map and Data Map Options button. At the bottom, select Edit Search Options to change how your map object considers may layer intersections – intersect 50%, intersect fully inside, or intersect.

The circle or radius tool is available in multiple places in the application – on the overall toolbar, on the mini-toolbar at selected data points, or even in the list of draw tool options. Drive time queries are available on the master toolbar and/or at the data point – see the mini-toolbar. Suppose you’ve only selected or checked on zip codes in Map & Data. In that case, the spatial query will default to a search of the zip code layer and immediately offer a save-name option for that area of interest or territory you’ve just created – a zip code map.

The Data Window is essentially a spreadsheet tool within MapBusinessOnline. Here, in your area of interest Data Window spreadsheet, is where you click Add Data and grab that General data drop-down option on the left. The Data Window pops up to show you your list of Zip Codes, Counties, States, etc. Choose Demographic Data and go to town (or have a ball, as the case may be). Population, households, and even ethnicity can be moved from Left to Right in the panel. Then Set the Data Column values in the lower right. Refer to the video above for a step-by-step view of the process.

Business Listings

MapBusinessOnline’s Master Toolbar includes a Yellow Pages Book button in the middle under Search. Search ZIP codes, City limits, counties, polygons, and radius objects for business listings. Great for sales prospecting and competitor maps. Read more about business listings.

Once you’ve assigned your demographic data to your area of interest or territory, you’ll notice a Total button at the bottom of your territory view. The total tab will let you see the total population by territory. Thus, you can use the tool to visually select an area of interest by circle or shape and then fine-tune that area by adding additional zip codes to the territory and increasing the population.

With MapBusinessOnline subscriptions, you can export the data for use outside the application. Typically that process (a button click on the far right of the Data Window toolbar) works well. However, Excel versions vary widely and can behave strangely depending on how many Excel sheets you have open. Some suggestions:

• Save your file as an [Name]. XLS as you export. You could also save it as [Name}. CSV. MapBusinessOnline exports to .CSV as a default
• Shut down all other Excel windows when exporting from Map Business Online

You can always re-query your circle or shape for other data layers – select the shape again and click the binoculars. You are limited to querying one data layer at a time.

So now you know the secret to grabbing demographic data in a circle around a point. I will reiterate that the actual numbers reflect the zip codes, counties, or states touched by that circle and not the area of the circle itself. If you need something extremely precise, you should contact geographic information systems (GIS) companies like for a more scientific result. Bring your credit card.


Discover why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and download the Map App from the website –

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives at or Jason Henderson at

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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